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February 6, 1999   VNN2967  

Honoring Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakur Prabhupada


EDITORIAL, Feb 6 (VNN) — Honoring the transcendental appearance of Om Vishnupada Paramahamsa Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada


subhododaya--divase vrisaravija-nija-dayitam
pranamami ca caranantika-paricaraka-sahitam

Near the banks of Sri Radha Kunda at Svananda Sukhada Kunja, she is devoted to the service of her Beloved, and is very dear to the gopi girls of Vraja headed by Sri Lalita. She (Nayanamani Manjari) is the favourite of Kamala Manjari (Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura) who is preeminent in Vrndavana.

She joyfully sings the divine qualities of Guna Manjari (Srila Gaura Kisora Dasa Babaji) and the spiritual threads of those qualities entwine, weaving a tent where Sri Krishna likes to dwell.

I bow down to the appearance of the beloved companion of Sri Vrsabhanunandini (Sri Radhika) and the servitors at his holy lotus feet.

--Sri Dayita Dasa Pranati Pancakam verse 4

Sri siddhanta-saraswatiti viditau gauriya-gurv-anvye bhato bhanur iva prabhata-gagane yo gaura-sankirtanaih mayavada-timingilodara-gatan uddhrtya jivaniman krsna-prema sudhabdhi gahana sukham pradat prabhum tam bhaje

"In the great Gauriya Vaisnava teacher's line, as Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati he's renowned.

Like the radiant sun in the morning sky, he appeared to rescue all souls swallowed by the all-devouring impersonal philosophy.

By spreading the teaching of Lord Gauranga to sing the holy name of Lord Krsna, he gave all the chance to dive in the ocean of love for Sri Krsna, the Supreme Person. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, my Lord, divine master - at his feet do I pray to serve him forever."

(Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Deva Goswami)

An excerpt of "Prabhupada Saraswati Thakur"
"The life and precepts of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati"
(Mandala publishing group):

A Divine Life:

Childhood (1874 - 1892)

Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura made his appearance in Purusottam Ksetra (Jagannath Puri) in the state of Orissa, at 3:30 in the afternoon on Friday, the 6 th of February, 1874. He was born in his family home, which was next to the holy site called the Narayan -chhata of Sri Jagannath Temple, and which always reverberated with the chanting of the holy name. He was the fourth son of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srimati Bhagavati Devi. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura firmly established the concept of pure Vaisnavism in the hearts of many educated and spiritually inquisitive people of Bengal in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura was a beautiful child with all the bodily symptoms of a great personality that are described in the scriptures. Everyone was amazed to see that the child was born with his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck like a brahman's sacred thread. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur named his son Bimala Prasada, meaning "the mercy of the transcendental potency of Lord Jagannatha, Srimati Bimala Devi."

When Sri Bimala Prasada was six months old, Lord Jagannatha's annual chariot festival took place. That year the chariot stopped in front of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's house and could not be budged an inch for three days.

So while Lord Jagannatha stayed in front of the house, kirtana was continuously performed there under the leadership of Srila Thakura Mahasaya ("Mahasaya" is an honorific title). On one of these days Sri Bimala Prasada, in his mother's arms, went to see Lord Jagannatha, and extended his hand towards the Deity as if to offer his obeisance. At that moment a garland fell from the neck of Lord Jagannath and encircled the child. The crowd was jubilant witnessing Lord Jagannath's blessing on the child. Amid the tumultuous sound of "Hariobola!", Bhaktivinoda Thakura fed Bimala Prasada some of Lord Jagannatha's mahaprasad, and thus observed the child's annaprasan ("grain ceremony" - first feeding of grains) under the most auspicious circumstances.

Sri Bimala Prasada lived in Jagannatha Dhama for ten months with his mother.

Then they travelled to Bengal and resided first at Ranaghata and then at Srirampura. Once, when Srila Bimala Prasada was a small boy, he took a mango without first offering it to the Lord. When his father chastised him for this, he became very remorseful and immediatly vowed never to eat a mango again - a vow which he observed his whole life.

In 1881 Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura had a house build in Calcutta at Ram-bagan and named it Bhakti Bhavan. As the foundation was being dug, a Deity of Sri Kurma Deva manifested Himself from the ground. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura gave this Deity to his son Sri Bimala Prasada when he was eight or nine years old, and taught him the mantra and the method of deity worship. The child duly started his deity worship with great care and devotion.

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